The News Desk is a collection of news, notes and breaking items affecting the Fredericksburg community.
Kids break bread with mom and dad
BY LINDLEY ESTES
Bowling Green Mayor David Storke and his wife, Katie Storke, were a lot taller than their lunch companions Wednesday.
That’s because their companions were 5- and 6-year-old students at Bowling Green Primary School.
It wasn’t the spaghetti and breadsticks the cafeteria was serving that enticed the Storkes to dine with their sons, Baylor, 5, and Gordon, 6, and nephew, 5-year-old Harrison Carter.
It was Take Your Parents to Lunch Day, part of National School Lunch Week—an effort to bring parents and students together and show how schools are incorporating new nutritional requirements into their meals.
Federal regulations that took effect this year require schools to establish maximum calorie and sodium limits for meals and serve larger portions of fruits and vegetables. Within two years, all grains offered to students must be whole-grain-rich.
The regulation also requires milk to be 1 percent fat or nonfat. Schools must also eliminate added trans fats.
Storke said he thinks the new requirements are great.
“The food looks different,” he said. “When I was in school, there were a lot of fried Tater Tots. For some kids, this may be the best meal, nutrition-wise, they get all day.”
In addition to spaghetti, Wednesday’s menu at Bowling Green Primary included hamburgers, hot vegetables, yogurt, fruit and a salad. Storke noted that, while the food is better, his children have the same kind of milk cartons that he couldn’t open at their age.
Principal Jason Mack said the event “gets the parents in the school. It sends a good message to the kids. It’s great for our school and great for the community.”
Cafeteria manager Rachel Farmer said she likes that the program brings parents and children together and lets parents see what their children are eating.
Farmer sent out 445 invitations to parents. Rebecca Wilkins was one of the 200 or so who showed up—surprising her 5-year-old son, Matthew.
“He wanted to pack lunch today,” she said. “But I said ‘no’ so we could have the school lunch together.”
She said that both she and her son are happy with the changes to the menu.
“He hasn’t come home and complained or asking to pack lunch every day,” she said. “He’d definitely tell me if he wasn’t happy.”
Matthew said he was glad she visited.
“I like my mom,” he said.
Joyce Watts visited her grandchildren, 5-year-old twins Tucker and Courtney Watts. She said their mother wasn’t able to get away from work so she wanted to come have lunch with them—as she had done with her sons when they attended the school.
“I think it’s an excellent idea,” she said of the emphasis on nutrition, “as long as they can get the kids to eat it. That’s the key.”
Another grandparent, Todd Tinder, owner of Tinder Jewelers in Bowling Green, echoed that sentiment. He was eating with his granddaughters Audrey, 7, and Grace, 6.
“Don’t put food out there that’s bland, because they’re not going to eat it,” he said.
While some parents brought food from McDonald’s for their children, Kevin McManus and his 5-year-old daughter, Mae, chose from the school menu. A farmer who grows micro greens and other specialty crops, he had spaghetti and a side salad.
So did Mae.
“She gets a salad from me almost every day,” he said. “I’m surprised she wanted that salad, too.”
Lindley Estes: 540/735-1976